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Legal Services Department for victims of domestic violence. Battered Families Services, Inc. (BFS) will implement a legal services department for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual

Award Information

Award #
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)
Original Solicitation

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $150,000)

The Congressionally Selected Awards Program, authorized by the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009 (Pub. L. 111-8), helps improve the functioning of the criminal justice system, prevent or combat juvenile delinquency, and/or assist victims of crime (other than compensation). Funds should be used for the projects selected by Congress, in the amounts specified in the joint explanatory statement incorporated by reference into Pub. L. 111-8, and generally consistent with one or more of the following statutory purposes: improving the functioning of the criminal justice system, preventing or combating juvenile delinquency, or assisting victims of crime (other than compensation). Each of these purposes is framed using language drawn, respectively, from the former Byrne discretionary statute, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, the Victims of Crime Act, and the Violence Against Women Act. This project is authorized and funded through a line item in the FY 09 Congressional Budget and by the joint explanatory statement that is incorporated by reference into the FY09 Omnibus Appropriations Act.

Battered Family Services, Inc. (BFS) will use its award to implement a legal services department for Zuni Pueblo and Navajo Nation victims of domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Current legal services for domestic violence victims are extremely limited due to cultural norms, an inability to hire legal counsel, and jurisdictional problems stemming from Indian Country geography. As a result, gaps in service are severe and perpetrators are able to use the judicial system as a tool to maintain power and control over their victims. BFS intends to assist victims in asserting their civil rights by hiring a full-time attorney with experience in the areas of family, employment, and housing law, and who is licensed to practice law on the Zuni Pueblo and Navajo Nation reservations. The attorney will represent victims of domestic violence in cases involving temporary or permanent orders of protection, paternity, child support and custody, and discrimination because of domestic violence by the victim's employer or landlord. The award will also hire a clerical support person to assist with associated paperwork and filing, as well as a sub-contractor certified by tribal authorities to serve legal processes when law enforcement is unable to fulfill this duty.


Date Created: September 21, 2009